So, right now you’re dating. You’re seeing each other a few times a week, have probably stayed at each other’s houses and maybe even had a weekend away together. Now, it’s time for the big one, the extended trip where you actually have to check luggage into the hold and be on a plane for more than five hours together. Exciting, nerve wrecking, there are a myriad of words to describe this first time abroad together and cliché as it may sound – it’s true that it can indeed make or break a relationship. If anything’s for certain, it will definitely be a learning curve. To get your holiday off to the best start, read these tips before boarding.

Know what you want to do
As romantic as it sounds to just jet off to unknown lands and decide on a whim exactly what you’re going to do when you get there, it will serve you better to have at least an outline before you arrive. People always have different things they want to see or do. Roughly knowing how this fits into the time you have will stop last minute jostles over which café or museum to visit. It’s also a great idea, depending on the sort of person each of you is, to plan some alone time. It may be an hour in the spa by yourself or reading your book whilst the other goes diving with sharks. Don’t feel the need to be in each other’s pockets the whole time, not if you don’t want to be.

Be considerate
People have different habits and needs and it’s really important to be considerate of these when going on holiday with anyone. Is your partner a late riser on holiday, do they feel a need to attempt the local language, do they have to spend an hour online every morning to check on business? Whatever it is that your partner has to do or wants to do, be mindful that it may be as natural – or necessary – to them as the opposite is to you. Be patient and if something is really difficult for you to tolerate, speak about it at a neutral time.

Enjoy the moment
Remember that you’re away for a limited time, so enjoy the moments you’re having whilst you’re having them. In a culture obsessed with taking selfies and photos that never get printed, it’s easy to forget how to just live the moment instead of trying to capture it to show other people. Take your time on holiday, make it about the two of you and appreciate the experiences you’re sharing.

Have a return plan
We all need to decompress after a holiday and reacclimatise ourselves to the reality of every day life. If your holiday was especially amazing then returning may be filled with all sorts of emotions, so give yourself time to settle back down. Depending on the type of relationship you’re in, saying goodbye in the taxi once back at home can be a romantic end and leave your partner wanting more. There is also the option of you both taking a day off together and lazing at home. Keep it flexible, but remember to do what best suits your personality and your relationship, so you can avoid awkward conversations at baggage reclaim.

Be careful with your alcohol intake
Alcohol consumption on holiday can often be a lot more excessive than when at home, so be mindful of how this might affect your behaviour, moods and even your adventurous side on holiday. Where possible, try to have a few relatively sober days in amongst the debauchery, so you remember the holiday and know that any feelings you’re having are genuine.

It’s a partnership, so delegate
Use each other’s strengths to make sure that you both have the experience you want and that two people aren’t wasting time doing the same tasks. For example, if you’re great at picking places to eat, then do that. If your partner is better at organising transport, looking after documents or driving abroad, make a decision to let them do those things. As long as you don’t begin to blame each other for mishaps and surprises, it’s great practice for the rest of your relationship.

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This article was guest written by Tori Ufondu, Mindset Breakthrough Coach

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